Fancy a challenge and the chance to take on the task of climbing an active volcano?
Head to Mount Rinjani in Indonesia and experience this impressive volcano yourself. Mount Rinjani is located on the small island of Lombok in Indonesia. It was the first UNESCO approved geological park in Indonesia and it’s the second highest volcano in Indonesia at 3726 metres. Rinjani has an amazing 50 square kilometre caldera with a crater lake. The crater lake is called Segara Anak which means ‘child of the sea’.
If you are planning a day trip to Rinjani then be aware, it is a very active volcano. Recent eruptions within the caldera have formed a conical small mountain within, named Gunung Barujari which means finger mountain. The caldera lake is very warm and a May 2010 eruption rose the temperature for a while from 21 degrees C to 35 degrees C. From April to May 2009 huge eruptions with smoke and ash climbing as high as 8000 metres made the ascent routes close to the mountain.
It is quite a tough trek and it takes 2 days (including one night) to the caldera, with amazing sunrise photographic opportunities where you can capture Bali to the west, and Sumatra to the east. If you stay overnight then you can sleep in an enchanting geological park by a river and waterfall. You can attempt a quite tricky descent into the caldera lake, where you will be rewarded with a warm, soothing bath when you finish. There is then a further day and night trek to the summit of Rinjani. The best time to attempt the climb is the dry season between April and November, but don’t be fooled by the base temperatures. It can be very cold at caldera height, and near to freezing at the summit. Warm waterproof clothing, good quality boots and hiking sticks to help are essential.
Some good trekking clubs to assist you with your climb include Rudy Trekking and Johns Rinjani Adventures. These clubs will provide you with essential guides, porters and camping equipment for a reasonable fee, and all the information you need. Booking a trip with a trekking club is advisable for novice hikers. A sensible starting point is Senaru village, where trekking clubs can easily be found. The trekking tours will most likely take you to the summit, the lake and the crater of the volcano.
If you are there are the right time, you could end up witnessing the annual Hindi ceremony of Mulang Pakelem, where 100’s of white clad Hindu pilgrims will sit and pray at the sacred lake. It’s a very uplifting and fascinating experience.
It’s not just the trekking experience people visit Rinjani for; it’s also a great place to see some wildlife. The lower levels of the volcano are forested, and it is possible to see fig trees, long tail macaques, and even the rare ebony leaf monkey. You will also hear, and maybe see parrots in the forest. It’s an ideal experience for wildlife enthusiasts.
Mount Rinjani is a spectacular volcano with many charming qualities. It is easy to see why so many people like to embark on a trek to Mount Rinjani. Tripadvisor lists Mount Rinjani the number 1 attraction out of 24 in Lombok. The surrounding area is also a fantastic place to explore and switch off after a difficult climb. After the 4 day exhaustive trek, plan a trip to Senggigi beach for a spot of rest and recuperation. It’s the perfect reward for all your hard work.